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Quarterback competition heats up in second scrimmage

The Cougars held their second spring scrimmage Saturday, and Peyton Bender looks to be a serious contender at quarterback.

The Cougar football team took the field for its second scrimmage of the spring Saturday, and the quarterback competition appeared to get a bit tighter in the process. Jacob Thorpe has been detailing the battle throughout the last few weeks, and it appears that the game is starting to slow down a bit for Peyton Bender, with his play getting better as a result.

But the redshirt freshman from St. Petersburg, Florida, is a more natural passer and forces the defense to stick to every receiver because of his ability to throw accurately on the run, a byproduct of his advanced footwork.

What’s happened lately is that Bender has caught up in the mental side of the game and is reacting quicker, while maintaining his advantage as a thrower. This was evident during a 22-yard touchdown pass to Gabe Marks in which a defender jumped offside. Recognizing that he had a free play, Bender quickly lofted a pass to his best scoring option, deftly placing the ball away from defenders.

But he showed his shortcomings on the next play, locking his eyes on Robert Lewis and throwing off his back foot, giving cornerback Marcellus Pippins an easy interception.

Thorpe also notes that Falk is getting alot more of his reps against the starting defense, which means he's facing a more talented group of players. Meanwhile, the second team guys on offense appear to be ahead of their defensive counterparts (Kyrin Priester in particular). This makes Bender's job a little easier. I'm sure each guy will get a decent amount of plays with the first-teamers next Saturday, and hopefully they both showcase their skills. At the very least, let's hope they don't throw a bushel of picks like Tyler Bruggman did last year.

From the looks of it, this is shaping up to be one of those difficult decisions coaches face. Does Leach go with the more seasoned (albeit still pretty young) guy who is a little more steady in the pocket, or does he hand the reins to the guy who has the potential to make more explosive plays, but also has the potential to make some poor plays that hurt the team's chances?

If I had to guess, Falk will enter fall camp as the presumed leader, and Bender will have to clearly make himself "the guy," essentially giving Leach no choice but to play him. If the competition is dead even, chances are it could come down to a battle of hair. If that's the case, say 'hello' to Mr. Bender. One thing is for certain, it'll make for an intriguing spring game. Let Spokane Week begin!


WSU spring football: Freshman QB Peyton Bender makes his push - - April 18, 2015
What makes Leach’s choice especially interesting is that the two don’t just have different strengths, but that each are legitimately better than the other in different areas. Falk has the better command of the offense and the huddle – he’s more likely to make the correct read and less likely to make a risky turnover.

Observations from the WSU scrimmage | The Spokesman-Review
In the last week or so Peyton Bender seems to have become a lot more comfortable in the offense. He always threw a pretty, accurate ball, but appeared to force it at times and didn't always make the correct read.

Scrimmage Recap April 18 - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
My two favorite highlights: Marks makes a really nice toe-tapping touchdown catch at the :38 point, and Wicks trucks some poor safety right at the end.

WSU spring game won't feature any scoring gimmicks | The Spokesman-Review
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NFL Draft

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Redskins give Washington State QB Halliday a close look -
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Craft Beer Line-Ups at All 30 MLB Stadiums - Eater
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Craft Beer Is Annihilating The Hop Supply
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